A.S. Watson Group has committed to create 200,000 job openings for young people by 2030, amid a global youth unemployment crisis brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The World Economic Forum said 15 to 24-year-olds are three times more likely to be without work than over-25s.
The owner of Superdrug and The Perfume Shop said its pledge aims to give young people new opportunities, skills and experiences for a career in retail.
This includes training for positions on the shopfloor, in head office roles and distribution management.
The group’s pledge comes ahead of International Youth Day on 12 August, a programme which raises awareness on cultural and legal issues surrounding young people.
“We all have a responsibility to nurture the next generation,” said Parkson Tseung, Group People Director (Asia) of A.S. Watson Group.
“What young people need is more companies opening doors to them and offering them a platform to prove their abilities.
“A.S. Watson is proud to provide more and better opportunities so that young people see hope in their future amid uncertainties in the world economy.”
The health and beauty retailer will also create a training scheme designed to coach new staff on Offline plus Online (O+O) retail - a combination of in-store and digital selling tactics.
A.S. Watson said it will provide five million training hours specifically for youth in the group's global workforce to “embrace the future”.
“Young people are an important source of talents and creativity; by developing their skills, we can make our business stronger and fitter for the future,” said Joanne Mackie, Group People Director (Europe) of A.S. Watson Group.
“We are not only offering job opportunities, we’re also providing training and coaching to give young people the skills they need to work in the new world of O+O retail.”
Established in 1841, A.S. Watson Group operates over 16,300 stores under 12 retail brands.